"Just Friends"We heard comments both from Jeffers and the Jeffed. I'd like to add a couple of my own.
Were being Jeffed an Olympic event, I would have taken a gold medal. I am deeply experienced. If experience qualifies one to comment, I am highly qualified. And so I speak:
To the JeffedBe sympathetic. Try to put yourself in her sandals. (Or "his"; sometimes men do Jeff women.)
Here's this adoring, eager, starry-eyed fellow. You don't want to break his heart or harsh his mellow... but you just don't feel what he feels. You don't want what he wants. The attention and all are flattering and nice, but it isn't fair to him to let him keep casting his line into a lake with no fish for him.
So what do you do? You tell him, as nicely as you can. There's no happy way to do it. It's a lose::lose, but it has to be done. If she's a decent girl, it kills her to have to do it. (If she isn't a "decent girl," what the heck are you barking after her for?)
Second, be trustful. I look back to one girl I loved desperately (that's a key word). We had a tumultuous relationship, with sparks and unsparks, and a lot of on and off. She ended up Jeffing me.
I was absolutely shattered, I walked about as a dead man for a long time.
Now? Oh, thank God she Jeffed me. Marriage would have been disastrous. I didn't see it at the time; I'm married now, and I see it with crystal clarity. I'd have been a horrid husband to her, and she... wouldn't have made me happy.
But you never could have told me either at the time.
Plus, I'd not have married the wonderful woman I'm married to.
Plus-plus, I learned impor... wait, that's not accurate. I began learning important truths that I could not have learned sufficiently from a book. It was all part of God's training program. He knew what He was doing, even though I didn't.
But I could have known, couldn't I? Oh, not the specifics, but the grand picture. What was He doing? Conforming me to Christ's likeness through suffering. It's not like He didn't tell me, either (Rom. 8:28-30; Heb. 5:8).
Don't give up on marriage, yet learn to be content in Christ now, and to be useful now. Because the cruel irony of the universe is that desperation is not attractive, it is repellant.
To the JeffersMy word to you is briefer.
As you see already, you have my sympathy. I know Jeffers come in both genders. But let me just offer one challenge.
The idea that billowy waves of romantic love and firework-feelings constitute the prime requirement of marriage is a lie. It is Biblically baseless. It is founded in a wave of romantic literature that began mere centuries ago, and it is fed by Hollywood — which, as we know, is Expert in matters of morality and fidelity and marriage and God and character.
< /blistering and hopefully obvious sarcasm >
Note I don't say one thing against romance and emotion and passion. I'm in favor of all three! But I do say put them in their place.
I received some off-line correspondence related to yesterday's thread. One was from a sister in Christ, who wrote that many of the comments left her feeling sad. She was concerned for girls (boys too, I'd add) who "don’t recognize that solid and steady and faithful and companionable and kind are wonderful traits in husbands," so they “Jeff” these single guys — and later the divorced moms realize what a treasure such men are.
Because they married what they wanted, only too late to discover what they needed.
This is a theme I develop at length, for both sexes, in the Proverbs book. I do commend it to you, especially right now while it's 50% off.